Aircraft, Airport, Aircraft Specification

Yesteryear’s Flying Platforms and Jeeps

Yesteryear’s Flying Platforms and Jeeps

One very interesting aviation fad from the 1950s – 1960s were the “flying platform” & a related “flying jeep”. These were very small rotorcraft, largely based on special ducted props. These flying platforms carried one soldier and they also seemed ideal for scout missions. On the other hand, the much larger flying jeep seemed potentially useful for various applications.While these flying platforms & jeeps had some distinct advantages, they did not really catch on at all. Very recently, some work has been carried out on UAV’s and there have been some flying platform innovations that have come to the fore- mostly for recreational and civil use- but these too have proved to be duds.

The Natural Course of Evolution

The yesteryear flying platforms grew out of some research that was conducted by the United States- National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics or NACA, in the early 1950s. The idea was that these 1-man flying platforms will be used in combat. The tests that had been carried out then, involved pilots “flying” these tethered platforms, at 1st lifted by compressed air, & later by rotors. These platforms were steered by what was referred to as “kinesthetic control” and the pilot had to simply shift his/her weight to change direction.

Hiller, de Lackner and Bensen were the 3 companies that released prototypes. Some accidents and safety concerns later, the idea of these Helivectors / Aerocycles were scrapped. Today, the one and only prototype of this fascinating experiment is ensconced in an aviation museum. But the concept was definitely a stepping stone for the aircraft technology that evolved.

Leave a comment:

Connect with:

NOTIFY ME OF NEW COMMENTS TO THIS POST
By commenting, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Fast Aviation Data
  • Navigation
  • Discover your world of Aviation We are Inspired
    • Prepare your flight on time with the use of the Preflight Planning Airport Directory “Prepare to stay ahead“ Jack Straw
    • See the forgotten planes inside the Aircraft Information System “Let’s not forget“ Erwin Schluch
    • Manage your travel time by using the Airport Time and Distance Calculator “Find extra time to enjoy life“ Ken Johnson
    • Create your own private aircraft album by adding your favorite plane to the Aircraft Information System “Build on your aviation hobby“ Abbigail Stone
    • Estimate your fuel trip cost using the Airport Time, Distance and Fuel Calculator “Every cents counts“ Kiko Grant
    • Know your planes with the Aircraft Information System “What’s that plane flying above“ Liza Davied
    • Save yourself time searching for airport contacts. The Preflight Planning Airport Directory covers 8,448 worldwide airports “Time = Money = Success“ Tony Dikanovech
    • Go direct to your aircraft ground handler with the Preflight Planning Airport Directory “Eliminate third party expenses“ Teresa Suave
    • Collect and store all your aircraft images on the Aircraft Information System “Stay in tune with your dreams“ Timothy Donohue
    • Revise your flying time with the Aircraft Time & Distance Calculator “Not knowing can be expensive“ Lenny Chavez